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Democratic runoff candidates come to town looking for votes

Joe Jaworski and Guitar Grady

Joe Jaworski (drums), a Democratic primary runoff candidate for Texas attorney general, played with Guitar Grady after speaking at the Hill Country Town Hall on April 2 at Cadillac Dance Hall in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

The Democratic parties from four counties and two local Democratic clubs hosted an old-fashioned town hall in a down-home honky-tonk on April 4 that featured candidates for Texas lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, and more. 

About 150 people attended the town hall at Cadillac Dance Hall in Marble Falls to hear speakers running in both the May 24 primary runoff election and the Nov. 8 mid-term election. The primary election was held March 1. Candidates who did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote will meet in the runoff. 

That includes the candidates for attorney general, Joe Jaworski and Rochelle Garza

The grandson of Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski, Joe served three terms on the Galveston City Council and one term as mayor. His law firm specializes in mediating Defense Base Act claims. The 60-year-old received 19.7 percent of the vote in the March 1 primary. 

Garza, 37, is from Brownsville and also a lawyer. She has worked as a staff attorney with the ACLU of Texas and is a managing attorney with Garza and Garza Law. She received 43 percent of the vote in the five-way primary. 

Candidate Lee Merritt received 19.4 percent; Mike Fields, 12.3 percent; and S. “T-Bone” Raynor, 5.5 percent. 

Candidate for Texas comptroller, Janet Dudding, was also at the event. She won 46 percent of the vote to Angel Vega’s 34.8 percent and Tim Mahoney’s 19.2 percent. The winner of the runoff between Dudding and Vega will face Republican incumbent Glenn Hegar in November. 

Candidate for lieutenant governor, Mike Collier, also spoke. Collier won 41.8 percent of the primary vote to Michelle Beckley’s 30.2 percent. A third candidate, Carla Brailey, won 28 percent, knocking her out of the race. The winner of the May 24 runoff will face Republican incumbent Dan Patrick in the mid-term election. 

A host of other candidates were at the town hall as well, including candidates for land commissioner, Jay Kleberg and Sandragrace Martinez

Also attending: 

  • Pam Baggett, candidate for Texas House of Representatives for District 19. She and an independent candidate will face the winner in the Republican primary runoff between Justin Berry and Ellen Troxclair. 
  • Kathy Jones-Hospod, candidate for Texas Senate for District 24. She will face the winner of the Republican primary runoff between Paul Reyes Jr. and Peter P. Flores. 
  • Ricardo Villarreal, U.S. House of Representatives for District 21. He is facing Claudia Zapata in a primary runoff. The winner of that race will face incumbent Republican Chip Roy.

Submitting videos were Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for governor; Rochelle Garza, who is running against Jaworski for the Democratic nomination for attorney general; and Angel Vega, who is running against Dudding for the Democratic nomination for comptroller.  

The event was hosted by the Democratic parties of Burnet, Llano, Blanco, and Lampasas counties, the Burnet County Democratic Club, and the Highland Lakes Democratic Women. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com